Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Lake Havasu, Arizona

On the first leg of our journey, we spent two nights at Lake Havasu State Park. This is a new area to us, and it definitely was a place I would come back to. We were in site 37 at the state park, which I think may have been the best site there. We had a view out the front of the lake, with no sites in front of us, just a beach area. Beautiful views and sunsets. This area is definitely about water activities including boating, fishing and other water sports.

Here's the view sitting under our awning.

And here is the sunset on our first night. Both nights, clouds popped up late afternoon over the hills.

The lake was formed when the Parker Dam was built over the Colorado River in the late 1930s. Lake Havasu City began in the early 1960s when entrepreneur Robert McCulloch purchased 26 square miles and along with C.V. Wood, the master planner of Disneyland, enticed prospective land buyers to the area. There are now over 50,000 residents, and nearly a million tourists each year.

In 1967 the city of London put the London Bridge up for sale. McCulloch purchased it for $2.46 million. Each block was numbered and the entire bridge was disassembled and shipped to Lake Havasu. Total cost was over $5 million. There it was rebuilt on land, and then a channel from the Colorado River was dug under it. A quaint English village tourist area was built next to the bridge.

The gate to the village was purchased from Witley Court in Worcester, England, a palace that was in decline and being sold.

Lake Havasu is a beautiful portion of Arizona, and having a lake in the desert is a great find.

Today we drove to Mesquite, Nevada. Our route took us around Las Vegas. The traffic at midday was a big dicey, but Kevin handled it so well, as he always does. I get so nervous when we are towing in heavy traffic. It's a good thing I'm not the driver.

We are staying one night at Sun Resorts RV Park in Mesquite. It's a small, but very nice park. Sites are very spacious and beautifully maintained. There are not many amenities, other than s small clubhouse and a putting green, but a great place for a short stay.

I maintain a campground review page as part of this blog. You can visit that page by clicking on the link under the header picture at the top. I have reviewed every campground we have stayed at since beginning our full time RV journey in 2010.

Tomorrow we  head to Provo, where we will stay 3 nights while we explore the Salt Lake City area. This is another new area for us to visit.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Packing Up

We are leaving Yuma tomorrow morning, heading to Seattle where we will begin our Alaska adventure. Our trek will be at a leisurely pace, with ten nights total to get there. Our first stop will be Lake Havasu State Park. This is a place we've not been to yet. One of their claims to fame is The London Bridge. We will also be spending a few nights in Provo, Utah to explore another new place to us, the Salt Lake City area. We have lots of adventures planned for the next few months, so stay tuned.

Since the resort is practically a ghost town, we have brought the fifth wheel down to our park model, and parked it in the road in front of our place. You are actually allowed to do this for up to three days when loading or unloading. Since our fifth wheel is so large, we would not do it if our neighbors were here. All of those around us have left, so we can take up all the room we need.

We turn off the power and water while we are gone. So, all food has to be moved over. Also, since it gets so hot here in the summer, we are moving most of our clothes as well. It's kind of like moving, without having to move any of the furniture. In two days, we got everything packed, and the park model summerized.

Here are our two homes parked next to each other. They both are actually about the same size. The park model is somewhat bigger because it has the added on Arizona room. We're very happy with both of our homes!

 Brad came over and put the finishing touches on the kitchen cabinets. He added crown molding at the top, and decorative pieces of wood to give them a Southwest look. We also added the knobs. I am so happy with how they turned out. Brad is a master at his craft, and we will never be able to thank him enough for his gift of time and talent on this project. We paid for the materials, and I made a quilt, bed runner and pillows in exchange for his labor. It just doesn't seem enough. He told me he loves doing it, and misses it when he doesn't have a project to work on. That's how I feel about quilting, so I get it. Here is a sample of what they look like finished.

We've been out golfing several times in the last few weeks with Brad and Martha, and friends that are still here at the resort. One morning, the sprinklers came on just as we were getting to the ninth green. Kevin was already on the green, so he dodged them to finish putting. The rest of us were not on yet. We waited until one of the groundskeepers came and turned them off. They use reclaimed water from the treatment plant, and we didn't want to get wet with that water. Too funny!

I'll try to blog more often in the coming weeks. We're very excited about the upcoming adventures. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing the kids again. It will be about 8 months since we saw them, and that's just too long!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Inside Remodel Pictures

We are very close to being finished with the inside remodel. There are some trim pieces that still need to be put on the kitchen cabinets. Brad, the cabinet maker, has been on vacation the last two weeks, so the trim should be finished as soon as he returns.

In the entire place, the popcorn ceiling was removed, walls and ceilings were coated with knock down texture and then repainted. Also, all woodwork was painted. The walls were wallpaper before. We have had new windows, patio door, shades and flooring installed throughout.

Here is the living room before and after. The cornices over the windows were removed, opening up the look of the room. We replaced the old ceiling fan with a new white one. The little table is for my sewing machine. We're not sure what we are going to do for furniture in this room, as I plan to use part of it for my sewing space.

The kitchen underwent a drastic change. We had the drop down ceiling removed, and all new cabinets installed. Also, all new appliances including adding a dishwasher and new light fixtures. We got rid of the large kitchen table and put in an RV size small table. Perfect for just the two of us. The pictures don't do justice to the new cabinets. They are beautiful, made with alder wood. I did not stain them, just varnish. Once the trim pieces are done, I'll post some close up pictures of them.

We got solid surface counter tops that look like quartz. I am so happy with how they look. We haven't shopped for counter tops in a long time. I was blown away at how expensive they are, but at least they look great. By getting a smaller table, we were able to extend the counter and make room for the dishwasher. In our nine years of fulltime RVing, a dishwasher was the one thing I missed the most.

In the bathroom, we had the old tub surround replaced with a tiled walk-in shower. Also, a new vanity, sink, faucet, medicine cabinet and light fixture.

In the bedroom, we upgraded from a queen to king size bed. That doesn't leave room for much of anything else. We added a new ceiling fan, and had the cabinets painted.

I found this cute picture frame display at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Fits perfect on the bedroom wall.

The Arizona room, which is the same as a family room, also had a dramatic change. The closet on the back wall was removed, and a large window was installed to open up the beautiful view of the golf course. We also got a new back door, TV and recliners.

By taking out the closet, we added more room, but it is an odd shaped room, 16 feet long, but only 8 feet wide. The couch under the window was here, and it is a sleeper sofa. We're going to keep it there for when our kids come to visit, so it makes the space usable.

So, that's pretty much the extent of what has been going on here at our place in Yuma all winter. I can't tell you how happy we are that it is finally finished. Overall, our park model is only about 600 square feet, but it is now our home, and we love it here.

In previous years, we had to be back in Wisconsin for our campground job by mid-April. Now that we've completely retired, we are able to stay in Arizona longer. I've really enjoyed seeing the different types of cacti bloom. Recently, the saguaro have begun to bloom. Here's one that is on a site in the park. I'm guessing it's about 20 feet tall. Lots of flowers growing at the top.

The weather has not been as hot as I was expecting. We have days in the 90s, even a few 100 degree days. But, at night it is still cooling off to the low 60s. We understand that in the summer months, the night time temperatures stay in the 80s. Only about 70 people stay in the park year round. The RV area has 5 spots occupied. In the winter that area has over 400 spots filled. It looks like a ghost town around here.

We'll be leaving near the end of the month to head to Seattle where we will leave our RV and begin our two week Alaska vacation. We're very much looking forward to that!! Then we'll slowly made our way across Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota to be in Wisconsin by mid August. We're staying for a month, then heading to Nebraska for a few weeks, planning to be back in Yuma in early October.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!